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    Thread: Animism and Dreams

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      Animism and Dreams

      I wonder if there is someone around who is, like me, interested in "primitive"/animistic/hunter-gatherer cultures. I am asking it on this forum intentionally, because it is well documented that dreams (and visions) were very important part of life for these peoples in general. Jesuit missionaries who were living with various woodland tribes of North America in 17.-18. centuries constantly complained about their "dream worship" as one of the most prominent "sins" of the "savages". And as far as I understand, "Dreamtime" is also an important concept for Australian Aboriginals, meaning a beginning of knowledge, beginning of world, a concept which becomes somehow extended in our dreams. I'd even say that dreams are, for one reason or another, inherent part of any animistic (or any personal?) spiritual system.

      There are some striking similarities between those "primitive dream worshipers" and modern-day western LDers or "oneironauts". Let's speak about them, let's try to ascertain how can their spiritual practices be understood from our point of view, and on the other hand, how could they help us if we practice them. As this thread is under the spiritual section, "paganic" belief-based approaches are welcome, as well as "purely academic" ones.

      For the start, I have one question which I'd love to be answered, but didn't yet find any:
      What do you think about the nature of dreams of native Americans, or hunter-gatherers in general? Were they lucid?
      Last edited by Coatl; 06-01-2018 at 10:43 AM. Reason: Grammar. (Feel free to remind me in PM if you find mistakes.)
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      I do not think much of Native American dream/religion was focused on lucidity. Of course some would become lucid and any shaman who focused heavily on dreams would have a high chance of lucidity. I think it was more a belief that they were experiencing a spirit world and the idea of totems and ancestors was central. I guess if you also became lucid naturally it would be seen as a sign the dream was more important.
      I do have a religion based heavily on the concept that waking life is very similar to the dream realm. Teaching that you can learn vast amounts about the secret workings of the universe through understanding how to control and interact with the dream world. I go so far as to say the physical world is bound by no absolute laws and is malleable to some extent using energy of a spiritual nature.
      This could be a very cool topic you have started. I hope Sageous, and Occipitalred make an appearance. Maybe you could post a few of your thoughts to get us going.
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      Quote Originally Posted by sivason
      I do not think much of Native American dream/religion was focused on lucidity.
      Neither do I. It was rather focused on finding information that would be useful in waking life, or bringing dream-experienced phenomena or objects into the waking life in order to channel their spiritual power/magic/medicine.
      I didn't find any reference about "knowing that you dream" effect in the relevant literature. Nevertheless, I am tempted to say that any society of dedicated dreamers must be familiar with lucid dreaming. Lucidity is not only a sign that the dream is more important, as you say, but also a tool to make it more vivid, to aim for specific beings and specific answers. Yet, no informant seems to have spoken about it (afaik). Is it because the anthropologists of old times didn't understand the phenomenon, so they neglected mentioning it? Or is it because any Indian dream of some importance used to be lucid, so the informants themselves neglected mentioning it? Considering the latter possibility, we should take into account two factors: (1) the "savage" way of thinking (which implies also the way of dreaming) is quite different from ours, and (2) the Indian dream training would start from the early childhood: children would be thoroughly instructed to remember their dreams and deem them important.
      There is also a possibility that a hunter-gatherer dream is something beyond the clear LD/ND plane, something partially lucid, but not in the way "I know I am dreaming"... I am forced to think about this option because of lack of evidence for the lucid dreaming among natives of old times.

      Quote Originally Posted by sivason
      I do have a religion based heavily on the concept that waking life is very similar to the dream realm. Teaching that you can learn vast amounts about the secret workings of the universe through understanding how to control and interact with the dream world. I go so far as to say the physical world is bound by no absolute laws and is malleable to some extent using energy of a spiritual nature.
      I would agree with that too, though I don't have a religion in any proper sense.

      Quote Originally Posted by sivason
      Maybe you could post a few of your thoughts to get us going.
      Will do, whenever the discussion stops flowing. There are also some more topics I want to discuss here.
      Last edited by Coatl; 06-01-2018 at 10:51 AM.

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      Interesting question.

      I have a feeling that you might be not be seeing the forest for the trees here, though.

      Lucidity as a defined concept has only been with us for a century or so, sure, but lucidity as an activity of consciousness has probably been with us since we first learned to stand upright, or even before. Lucidity is a consequence of sentience, so I tend to assume that for as long as any person was able to say "I am," they were just as likely able to say "I am dreaming." They might not have been doing the same techniques or viewing their presence in their dreams the same way we do today (though I'll bet it was more similar than we might wish to assume), but shamans, priests, village elders, medicine men, bards, imaginative kids, etc., were probably just as aware that they were dreaming as we are today -- perhaps even more so, because they may have taken their trips to the dreaming realms a bit more seriously than we do today; since for many of them their dreams, and how they relayed them, were a matter of survival, and not just tools for entertainment or personal growth.

      I think the LD'ers of yore did indeed see their dreaming worlds differently than we (or most of we) see them today. Their dreaming realms, to them, were very real places, places which were more or less extensions or completions of their waking-life existence. As such, their focus was much more heavily weighted by interacting with those places, and not by the no doubt (to them) obvious notion that they were personally experiencing those places. In other words, I would imagine that if, after he described his dream and its portents to you, you were to ask a shaman, "But did you know you were dreaming?" the shaman would very likely have responded with an odd look and something like "Well, duh. What else would I have thought I was doing?" Dreaming, for most of human history, was pretty much the only active link to the "More" we've all been seeking since sentience began, and those who were successfully using it as a tool for visiting that "More" probably knew that they were using that tool, before, during, and after the dream.

      So I guess the tl;dr: here is that humans have likely been LD'ing for as long as there have been humans, but it wasn't until recently that we chose to pursue it as an activity unto itself, and in our typical western arrogance we also chose to assume that we invented that activity, and those who've been doing it for uncounted millennia were clearly doing something else, something less. But I think you already said that, Coatl:


      Quote Originally Posted by Coatl View Post
      Is it because the anthropologists of old times didn't understand the phenomenon, so they neglected mentioning it? Or is it because any Indian dream of some importance used to be lucid, so the informants themselves neglected mentioning it? Considering the latter possibility, we should take into account two factors: (1) the "savage" way of thinking (which implies also the way of dreaming) is quite different from ours, and (2) the Indian dream training would start from the early childhood: children would be thoroughly instructed to remember their dreams and deem them important.
      ^^ There it all is, in a nutshell, I think, and a more clear nutshell than my rambling, at that!

      There is also a possibility that a hunter-gatherer dream is something beyond the clear LD/ND plane, something partially lucid, but not in the way "I know I am dreaming"... I am forced to think about this option because of lack of evidence for the lucid dreaming among natives of old times.
      That I'm not so sure about. Primitive hunter-gatherers may have had less to think about than we do today, but if they had achieved true sentience, then they would have had the ability to know they were dreaming just as they had the ability to know they were ranging through a waking-life world. I think, again, that that lack of evidence doesn't stem so much from a dearth of records as it does from the recorders of the time not seeing any reason to state the obvious.

      This is a topic well worth discussion, I think, because a greater understanding of it would probably improve modern LD'ers dreaming experience. Lucidity is a state of mind, and that state can be much more easily achieved if our dreaming lives became as important (if, perhaps, not as perceptually real) as it was to our ancestors.
      Last edited by Sageous; 06-01-2018 at 06:15 PM.
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      I was taught that one role of the shaman was to enter a dream and then fly around and see where the dream showed a herd of game animals. He would then tell the hunters where he thought they should look for the herd. This sort of thing could just be dream incubation, but it seems more likely that these shaman could enter lucid dreams and then fly (like most of us after awhile) and remember what they needed to do (prospective memory/preform set task). I agree that it seems like lucidity must have been important to the truly devout shamans but that the people recording the information did not understand enough to document the idea.
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      Thanks, Sageous and sivason, you both speak quite convincingly, and you both only slightly differ in your opinion. It is likely that their dreams were usually lucid, or lucidity was something like a requirement to make a dream "count". Otherwise, if it was the case that both dream types were common AND important, then they would strictly differentiate between the two types, like we do. Or not? But we actually don't know what was dreaming like for those people. What it felt like, and how it worked. They even don't seem to differentiate much (in the same way as we do) the type of reality they are perceiving - whether it's a dream, half-dream, wakeful trance, or even normal wakefulness. This sometimes makes one wonder if "we" and "them" are even sharing the same time-space reality.
      Anyway, the complete answer is still not clear to me and I am going to do some more research.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous
      humans have likely been LD'ing for as long as there have been humans, but it wasn't until recently that we chose to pursue it as an activity unto itself, and in our typical western arrogance we also chose to assume that we invented that activity, and those who've been doing it for uncounted millennia were clearly doing something else, something less.
      You are right, but you make it sound to me like I am possibly the arrogant one who thinks that the ancient people couldn't have invented LD. And I am really far from adopting such a point of view. In fact, I believe that hunter-gatherer cultures must have been real masters of dreaming. It is true for the woodland, plains and subarctic areas of North America at least. I am not sure about the Central and South America where natives don't seem to be so centered on dreaming, maybe because there were plenty of herbal substances that easily satisfied the need for an extraordinary source of knowledge, and maybe also because some of these cultures were somewhat "higher", more organized, with organized religions.

      Quote Originally Posted by sivason
      I was taught that one role of the shaman was to enter a dream and then fly around and see where the dream showed a herd of game animals. He would then tell the hunters where he thought they should look for the herd. This sort of thing could just be dream incubation, but it seems more likely that these shaman could enter lucid dreams and then fly (like most of us after awhile) and remember what they needed to do (prospective memory/preform set task). I agree that it seems like lucidity must have been important to the truly devout shamans but that the people recording the information did not understand enough to document the idea.
      Yes, locating game was perhaps the most common use for dreaming, and not only for a shaman (though a shaman would be usually better with dreams than a "common" man or woman). After all, it's something what a hunter needs doing almost every day. There are also references of a shaman using "astral projection" in his trance (which he enters from the wakeful state) to locate something or someone (or even to pick-up a physical object, which case I don't believe to be real). There are also numerous anecdotes of sorcerers traveling in the form of soul / animal / fireball in the night to kill or harm someone in their sleep, either a tribal enemy or a fellow. This is a concept where dreaming (and this one cannot be non-lucid, if it's real) blends with OBE, astral projection, or even physical manifestation of magic. This is a world where myths and reality blend together. How could a christian citizen of 17.-19. century Europe or white America understand it and be able to record it plausibly?
      Last edited by Coatl; 06-02-2018 at 10:47 PM.
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      For a while there, DarkMatter's Carl Jung thread was pretty active and I feel the things discussed in it, while not directly about Animism itself, are of a nature whose scope reaches and touches on, if not outright makes solid connection with the concepts of Animism. More specifically, Jung's theories on psychoanalytic psychology and his understanding of human culture (especially ancient culture and mythology) and how it is connected in relation to the psyche offer some very intriguing and valuable insight on the subject. Here's a link to the thread if you want to check it out.

      Most specifically, his ideas on spiritualism, the unconscious, and the collective unconscious provide an excellent framework with which to approach the meaning and significance of Animism's roots as a spiritual belief structure for comprehending, deconstructing, and engaging in the reality and lives we find ourselves existing in. On that note, it's a great way to approach analyzing and understanding really any spiritual or religious belief systems and even our social structures, traditions, and institutions.

      Considering all substance, form, and meaning we are capable of perceiving and experiencing in our lives springs forth from the mind itself and the unconscious thought processes underpinning our conscious awareness, the essence of all spirits themselves are the very currency of our understanding and experience as conscious living beings. Information (and the perception of it), or what the concept represents at its most fundamental and broad level, is what bestows life, and therefore meaning, to all things. It is the very spirit/soul of a given thing itself.

      At the moment of perception (the deconstruction, application of boundaries of understanding stemming from past experiences, and reconstruction of "meaningful" patterned, non-random stimuli so that an understanding and therefore a conscious experience of a phenomenon can be rendered), the very spirit, or alternatively, soul/ghost/essence, of what has been perceived is conceived--whether we recognize it, or like it, or not. The ghosts that information and the concepts and beliefs we unconsciously form effectively take on a life of their own as if they were themselves living organisms. And, just like physical living organisms, they wind up guiding, informing, and even otherwise forcing us to behave and act in certain ways. They may not have cognitive awareness or conscious thoughts, but they propagate their existence and their continued survival through us.

      I mean, what could be more appropriately thought of and referred to as a spirit? In a way, the existence of information and our beliefs even do almost take on a mind of their own that's capable of evolving, reacting to threats to its continued existence, and sewing seeds that develop into what might be thought of as its offspring. Take just how inexorably interconnected many ancient religions are, essentially being no more than a mostly cloned offshoot of past religions but different enough to avoid the same "death" experienced by the core parent beliefs that sired them. Countless conflicts and wars have arisen and been fought, won, and lost because one culture's spiritual and/or religious beliefs, their God(s), weren't the "right" ones.

      Given all of this, I think the study of Animism is an excellent way to form a basis for investigation, analysis, and forming understandings on dreams, dreaming, and the culture/social interactions centered around dreaming, its meaning, and the utility and conscious application of them toward some desired end. The subject requires a keen understanding of deeper psychological phenomenon and an open-mined approach to the interpretation of any understandings or conclusions you might come to while at the same time manages to keep you balanced and analytically aloof enough to keep you from the tendency to fall prey to the pitfalls of confirmation bias and other cognitive biases that might otherwise delude you or lead your understanding of the dreaming phenomenon away from what could be considered the "truth" regarding its nature.
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      Originally Posted by Sageous:
      humans have likely been LD'ing for as long as there have been humans, but it wasn't until recently that we chose to pursue it as an activity unto itself, and in our typical western arrogance we also chose to assume that we invented that activity, and those who've been doing it for uncounted millennia were clearly doing something else, something less.

      Quote Originally Posted by Coatl View Post
      You are right, but you make it sound to me like I am possibly the arrogant one who thinks that the ancient people couldn't have invented LD. And I am really far from adopting such a point of view.
      Just to be clear, I was very much referring to "our" collective western arrogance, and was by no means singling you out or calling you arrogant. Also, the fact that you started this thread tells me that you're likely exempt from that arrogance, so no worries!

      Yes, locating game was perhaps the most common use for dreaming, and not only for a shaman (though a shaman would be usually better with dreams than a "common" man or woman). After all, it's something what a hunter needs doing almost every day. There are also references of a shaman using "astral projection" in his trance (which he enters from the wakeful state) to locate something or someone (or even to pick-up a physical object, which case I don't believe to be real). There are also numerous anecdotes of sorcerers traveling in the form of soul / animal / fireball in the night to kill or harm someone in their sleep, either a tribal enemy or a fellow. This is a concept where dreaming (and this one cannot be non-lucid, if it's real) blends with OBE, astral projection, or even physical manifestation of magic. This is a world where myths and reality blend together. How could a christian citizen of 17.-19. century Europe or white America understand it and be able to record it plausibly?
      Good point. Though there was as exception that brief Romantic era in the middle of those centuries, when such things were embraced by an aristocratic few, western culture did seem intent on stamping out the last vestiges of magical thinking. So I could see how accurately reporting something like LD'ing among "primitive" peoples would likely have not gone well.
      Last edited by Sageous; 06-04-2018 at 01:51 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous
      Just to be clear, I was very much referring to "our" collective western arrogance, and was by no means singling you out or calling you arrogant. Also, the fact that you started this thread tells me that you're likely exempt from that arrogance, so no worries!
      OK, thanks

      Quote Originally Posted by snoop
      Jung's theories on psychoanalytic psychology and his understanding of human culture (especially ancient culture and mythology) and how it is connected in relation to the psyche offer some very intriguing and valuable insight on the subject.
      Jung is definitely a big topic which I ran across several times and I am going to study it more in-depth sooner or later. I didn't grasp all parts of your post - where you trying to convey the idea that there is no actual contradiction in interpreting parts of our psyche (either individual or collective one) as independent spirits? Because that's what I would agree with.

      ------------

      I'd like to pursue here further particular animistic beliefs and practices that are closely related to dreams. Here is one which is very widespread in the North America: fasting.
      It is firmly believed (or rather taken as a matter of fact) by tribes like Ojibwe or Sioux that in order to receive a good advice from spirits in the dream, one should fast, at least a day, but the longer the fast, the better. So, if there was no food to be found, a man would blacken his face to inform spirits he is not going to eat until he finds and kills some game. He would sit in his wigwam/tipi in the earlier part of night and sing his medicine songs (which he, btw, had received in another dream), and then, in his sleep, his guardian spirit would come to him and tell him where to find a deer or give him another advice.
      It was believed by the Fox (Mesquaki) and related tribes that Dream (besides other qualities) is something that entitles a man to lead a war party. A warrior could have fasted a week or two in order to receive a great dream which allowed him to lead a war party (or take part in one - but that was not so demanding). So, their best war leaders were usually also best fasters This is how firmly was the "dream worship" rooted in their lives, and there is much more, but these examples are enough for now, because I'd like to ask you: Did you try fasting for better dreams? Did it help?

      I did, but that's a long ago before I even knew what is lucid dreaming. Lately, I am too lazy to do it, but I'll try it soon, that's a promise to myself.
      Last edited by Coatl; 06-04-2018 at 06:00 PM.

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      Here is a related discussion where a group of diet maniacs comment their unexpected effect of having strange vivid dreams when fasting.This phenomenon really appears to be something belief-independent.

      On the other hand, fasting for dreams is perfectly consistent with the magic rule that "nothing is free", at least nothing from spirits. If I need to pay even for the gifts I don't want, so why not choose what I do want, if the price is affordable? (Of course, it is more of a reciprocity than a strict trade.) There is a widely accepted "spirit currency" in America and late Siberia in the form of tobacco (besides some other material objects). But tobacco somehow doesn't work for dreams. So, this may be another reason why fasting works for certain mindset. There are also other ways to pay for power, in the form of special long-term personal taboos, like those imposed by heyoka on himself. Human freedom is limited. The shaman deprives themselves of certain part of their freedom in order to maintain certain power which, by definition, increases their freedom. Isn't this how a promising (yet dangerous) energetic relationship between human and spirit could work?

      Anyway, let's return to the concept of fasting and dreaming dependence. I know it may be strange to talk about this if many of you guys have multiple lucids each week, so you have great dreams, yet don't need to pay anything for it. Or do you?
      What if there is a difference between "playful/sandbox" LDs, and "powerful" ones?
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      Spirit guides

      Well, fasting doesn't seem to be a popular topic, let's leave these questions unanswered
      There is a relatively well known ritual of Vision Quest, almost universal for the North America, though the details may vary from tribe to tribe. It is a sort of rite of passage where a young boy or girl seeks isolation, fasting and meditating/praying for several days, in an effort to receive a dream or vision of their guardian spirit which would help them throughout all life. This guardian spirit would usually have a form of animal, but also a humanoid, a plant, or even an "inanimate" object. This is the spirit that is also called spirit guide, power animal, or, imprecisely, "totem" spirit. (Actually, totem is a mythical ancestor which denotes a clan membership, a family kinship, and not a power of an individual.) This is the spirit that is then going to appear in dreams and show things. This is the spirit that is going to support the man or woman even in the waking life. This is something that would make one strong, or powerful, or very powerful - depending on the type of the spirit and the type of the vision.

      And as most of us haven't practiced vision questing, but all of us are dreamers, I wonder how this spirit guide would fit into our dream character cast. There is something called dream guide which is supposed to show up in LDs, having constant appearance throughout multiple dreams. Do you have one? Do you think that the dream guide is the same as the spirit guide? Or what do you think would be their relation?
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      Fun conversation! I regret not being more educated on animistic cultures...

      About the first question, let me have a go at it... For starters, "lucidity" is a concept that is not so intuitive to me even in the modern era. Seems no one here naturally began their lucid journey by defining it as becoming aware they were dreaming (unless it started on the Internet). As a child, I dreamed. And that meant many things. But the knowing did not matter.

      I remember sometimes expressing to myself or to others the idea that "It was so weird how I did NOT know I was dreaming", but never the other way: "It was so weird that I knew I was dreaming."
      Honestly, I feel silly telling people I enjoy "knowing that I am dreaming". So what? People find the idea weird because they are out of touch with their dreams. But otherwise, it seems very unremarkable.

      I discovered lucid dreaming on the internet, wanting to learn how to better remember my dreams and I (read: we) never respected (unknowingly) the real meaning. When I talked about lucid dreams, I really meant dreams with heightened awareness, not dreams where I knew I was dreaming. Yet, that is what I trained to do: have dreams where I realize I am dreaming. Those dreams were exciting but I never mastered that. I think my dreams have evolved though, in a way that is more natural with the way I experience dreams. I have control over my dreams, not only dream control, but from outside of them. By this, I mean: I use dreams to learn about myself and how I perceive the real world. I use my dreams to grow. My dreams change as my perception of the world changes and I start to act in my dreams in a way that reflects my previous dream experiences. I have had dreams where I did not know I was dreaming, yet, I had a very lucid understanding of my experience. These experiences were more spiritual than my lucid dreams. This is my way; it doesn't sound very pagan, I know. I just feel they might also have experienced dreams as dreams. They probably recognized that they were sentient and aware in all dreams, some more than others. Anyway, this is how children nowadays intuitively understand it, I think.

      I don't think lack of reports of lucid dreaming from animistic cultures is because they did not ask the right questions, or because it was too obvious, etc. I just do not think lucid dreaming (defined: knowing you are dreaming) is relevant at all for any of us. Except in our internet culture where we set each other goals like the monthly quests or Spellbee's competitions (which I love). I just don't think these things are the natural way that I experience my dream journey nor did the animistic cultures, nor most of you. But maybe I am just projecting a repressed bitterness because I never mastered a consistent clear cut lucid dream count.

      If anything, this thread is a reminder that what we are looking for as oneironauts, as dreamers, is in another direction than lucid dreaming. Imagine if Dreamviews stopped trying to lucid dream at all, yet kept the same passion for dreaming. Imagine, no more DILDs, no more WILDs... (I am not necessarily condoning this, just reflecting on it as I go to bed now... good night)

      * Never fasted nor had a dream guide, sorry.
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 06-08-2018 at 04:14 AM.
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      ^^ Well said, Occipitalred, well said.

      Your post brings me back to the years I spent "just" dreaming, long before there was an internet, and before LaBerge's book gave us all those ILD's. In retrospect, and with the necessary confirmation of checking old dream journals and not just trusting my old-guy's memory, I can safely say that, before the terms that defined lucidity came into effect, I really didn't care about whether I knew I was dreaming or not. Yes, I felt my presence in dreams regularly, but it was the dreams and dreaming that mattered, and not necessarily the fact that I knew that I was dreaming. I never had one of those "ah-ha!" moments that are spoken about so often here; lucidity was just another facet of of a much greater gem, so knowing I was dreaming was more tool than goal. In other words, lucidity was there, but the priority rested on the dreaming part, and not on the knowing part.

      Here's another bit of disclosure: In the last few years my work with dreaming has intensified dramatically, and with that intensification has come not more lucidity (as defined on these forums) but less. I didn't notice it at first, and was still being frustrated by failures to, say, complete a WILD transition or remember to pursue a certain goal, but my turn away from lucidity as priority finally became obvious when I noticed that I hadn't made an entry in my dream journal (where only "important" LDs are recorded) in over six months. The turn, I think, has been in the right direction and long overdue; I honestly think I was holding myself back from greater discoveries by maintaining the "knowing I'm dreaming" part as not just the priority, but as my singular goal.

      Here's still more disclosure (please don't tell anyone ): Pretty much the only time I give much attention to lucidity these days is on this forum, when I'm responding to questions in my WILD class or posting the occasional opinion on the subject in threads like these. It's like, now, that I have to flip a special, slightly rusty old switch in my head to post thoughts about LDing -- and, if you read some of my posts carefully, you might notice my growing disinterest in techniques and other processes, like prolonging or stabilization. I was never a fan of techniques (my WILD class preaches a sort of an anti-technique technique), but I've come to wonder if all this talk of techniques, mixed with an odd hierarchy based on LD counts, and the relentless drive toward "knowing it was a dream," and little else, has somehow drowned out what should be the real priority here: the dreams themselves. As I look back over the last 20 years or so, since I first allowed the definitions to steer my work, I can see that much for me was drowned out as well; I'm feeling very relieved that I was able, finally, to grasp that wheel, shake off the definitions and artificial priorities, and get back to the real priority that started me down this path in the first place: dreaming itself.

      So I guess the tl;dr: here is that, though I still have LD's all the time, and certainly value them, as my dreaming life has progressed I've found myself returning to the real core of my passion for dreaming: the dreams themselves. I don't wonder if this bit of heresy is a wrong turn for a minute, though, because I already can tell that my dreaming life -- my entire life -- has been soundly enriched already.

      ... perhaps all those "primitive" cultures were seeing dreams in the right light all along, and it is us modern folk who have chosen to drop a curtain on one of the greatest gifts humans enjoy by obscuring our dreaming lives behind a wall of definitions, control, and the singular goal of knowing we're dreaming. Something to think about, anyway...

      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      If anything, this thread is a reminder that what we are looking for as oneironauts, as dreamers, is in another direction than lucid dreaming. Imagine if Dreamviews stopped trying to lucid dream at all, yet kept the same passion for dreaming. Imagine, no more DILDs, no more WILDs... (I am not necessarily condoning this, just reflecting on it as I go to bed now... good night)
      Imagine, indeed.

      Last edited by Sageous; 06-08-2018 at 06:31 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Coatl View Post
      And as most of us haven't practiced vision questing, but all of us are dreamers, I wonder how this spirit guide would fit into our dream character cast. There is something called dream guide which is supposed to show up in LDs, having constant appearance throughout multiple dreams. Do you have one? Do you think that the dream guide is the same as the spirit guide? Or what do you think would be their relation?
      I have been involved with shamanistic type pursuits for over 30 years now. I have evolved away from limiting myself to one belief system or another, but at first it was all about believing I was a shaman in some recent past lives and so I experimented with vision quests and altered states, dreaming, and communing with animals. Perhaps due to expectation when I very first noticed an entity in my dreams that was clearly not created by me (if one can believe such things) it was in the form of a red wing black bird. I was lucid and dreaming i was in the swamp behind my house. I heard a beautiful clear call from a bird and looked across a pond at the source. It was beautiful and glowing with an aura that took up my whole field of vision. It communicated with me, but I could not understand, other than that some telepathy was being attempted. I have since had most of my interaction with dream guides take place in the form of humanoids, although it has been made clear that some of them take these forms simply because of my own interpretation of what I am seeing. They have been cats, dogs and various birds before, and sometimes in the form of alien beings. I feel that these entities are exactly the same as Indian spirit guides or animals and have even had contact with at least one while in a waking state. You mentioned before about Shamans going into trance like states while awake to find game and so on. We have discussed this process before in a thread about lucid day dreaming. It is basically a deep meditation touching on non-REM states.
      I could not agree more with Occipitalred as far as lucidity not having to be the center of our self exploration/ spiritual growth through dreaming. I actually pushed to far into the controlling dreams thing and needed to adjust because having lucidity and control do not always equal exploring dreams in a spiritual path sort of way.
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      So I guess, "lucidity" really just came to be as a way to study dreams in a scientific context, but I must admit it helped create a strong dreamer community by giving clear goals (which were scientific, secular). I guess the values in our community are:

      - Lucidity
      - Variants of self-awareness and awareness of senses
      - Memory
      - Control
      Those values are secular, individualistic and easier to measure.

      I am not sure of the animistic/shaman values, potentially,
      - Intuition
      - Communication with spiritual realm
      - Coming of age
      These values or others come from the need for shamans to generally play a social role, I believe. I'd like to hear what other values I might of missed or values that both groups are lacking?

      I think it is important to understand the values of our community... I mean, shaman traditions like any tradition is based on values. And dreamers are probably experiencing the same type of existentialist crisis as the broader population is in term of a more secular world struggling with maintaining more spiritual and less materialistic values.

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      So far, we still have three main theories why there is no known explicit differentiation between lucid and non-lucid dreams in the animistic lore: 1) the informants didn't bother to emphasize the difference, 2) the anthropologists/missionaries didn't understand or didn't border to inquire, and 3) the native people didn't actually care whether they knew they were dreaming or didn't. I wouldn't exclude any of the three points and we all seem to keep making alternate arguments for all of them. As for the (3), I'd like to stress again that the mind of native-American (or Siberian) hunter-gatherer is quite different in some aspects than, say, the mind of a modern white citizen, especially when it comes to altered states of consciousness. As an obvious example, their attitude to alcohol is something completely different (and very unlucky at that point, up to the level of destruction of their cultures). They generally considered it a powerful "medicine" which, as they believed, gave them visions of the spirit world (hey, I have NEVER perceived anything like a vision in the state of drunkenness. Well, maybe afterwards in the dream), while at the same time making them behave like madmen and otherwise seriously ruining their health and lives.


      ----------------


      Quote Originally Posted by sivason
      I feel that these entities are exactly the same as Indian spirit guides or animals and have even had contact with at least one while in a waking state.
      There is supposed difference between the two in that the random dream guides are just parts of your self, and you can only learn about yourself communicating with them. The spirit guides, on the other hand, are somehow more "real", and they can prove that, either by providing you with a new and useful information about the outer world, or supporting your waking life by a specific power. There is also a reason why they appear in constant form (which somehow mirrors their type of power), in order for you to recognize them and trust them.

      Long ago, I have done several attempts of vision questing, with only partial success. Years passed, and I was visited by a non-human character in a non-lucid, but very powerful felt dream. (I didn't yet dream lucidly at that time.) Around the same time, there were clear signs of that being attempting to contact me in the waking life. I also believe that this spirit showed me how to dream lucidly. Nevertheless, I have never yet succeeded to call the spirit into my LD, even though I tried.

      On the other hand, I have had a lot of differently looking human characters in my lucid dreams, just to spontaneously appear beside me and start counseling me. I don't want to underestimate them, but don't feel they are of much practical help outside of the dream scope. There is an article here on dreamviews about the dream guides. According to the article, the dream guide is supposed to have a constant form, which is usually a woman for a man and a man for a woman. That's not the case for the spirit guide. This makes me doubt they are the same. Second point is that spirit guide is something you wish for, something you fast for, something you sacrifice considerable energy in the waking life. It is not so much true for the dream guide.
      In my last lucid, I wished my spirit guide to show up. Nothing happened for a while. Then I wished "at least my dream guide" to show up. She really did. But I somewhat doubt she is the same sort of guide as the spirit guide. I haven't had any LD since then to be able to try again and compare if she is the same. I am going to ask her if she is also a spirit guide

      To prevent any confusion, no animistic tradition (afaik) makes an explicit difference between the two. That's only me asking whether these two types of guides are allowed or supposed to exist independently and side by side. Just trying to clarify the terms, you know, making cultural comparison.
      Last edited by Coatl; 06-12-2018 at 10:58 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred
      I am not sure of the animistic/shaman values, potentially,
      - Intuition
      - Communication with spiritual realm
      - Coming of age
      These values or others come from the need for shamans to generally play a social role, I believe. I'd like to hear what other values I might of missed or values that both groups are lacking?
      I'd say that the role of shaman (or medicine man, spiritual specialist or whatever) in the primitive community is double: (1) to help the individuals (heal them, give them more power), and (2) to strengthen their identity as a whole by (re)creating the shared mythical background, or as you say shortly, the social part. At those times (and we are talking about the time span of 200 thousand years of human history at least), spirituality was indistinguishable from science and everyone was a shaman to some extent. Everyone used to have direct source of spirituality in their mind, in their visions and dreams, and in their powers as well, whatever they be. There are many specific virtues (real or alleged) for which a shaman could have been valued by the particular community - be it his or her ability to heal, know/make medicine, kill an enemy at distance, have precognition (in dreams, visions or signs), tell myths, strengthen the common code of ethics, interpret dreams and signs, guide a soul to the afterworld, dance, or sing...
      What unifies the communities of "animists" and "lucid dreamers" is, obviously, great emphasis on dreams, on their clarity, memory, and control(?). Imho the shamanic concern for dreams is generally more spiritual, but also more pragmatical. They really strove to make contact with the spiritual entities and realms, and they needed it in order to profit from it, more or less directly, in their waking life. (It doesn't mean that they didn't enjoy dreaming though. I believe that spirituality is in fact deeply linked with pleasure.) That's what I find amusing on the animistic spirituality - it's brutally pragmatical and goal-oriented
      Last edited by Coatl; 06-12-2018 at 03:06 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Coatl View Post



      There is supposed difference between the two in that the random dream guides are just parts of your self, and you can only learn about yourself communicating with them. The spirit guides, on the other hand, are somehow more "real",

      There is an article here on dreamviews about the dream guides. According to the article, the dream guide is supposed to have a constant form, which is usually a woman for a man and a man for a woman.

      Second point is that spirit guide is something you wish for, something you fast for, something you sacrifice considerable energy in the waking life. It is not so much true for the dream guide.
      I would not assume what ever article speaks the only truth. Some people want to believe nothing magical happens, so they proclaim "DGs are just part of yourself," well that is far from my experience. Also, I do prey and focus lots of energy on attracting these beings.
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      Quote Originally Posted by sivason View Post
      I would not assume what ever article speaks the only truth. Some people want to believe nothing magical happens, so they proclaim "DGs are just part of yourself," well that is far from my experience. Also, I do pray and focus lots of energy on attracting these beings.
      But there is a unique trait to your experiences with spiritual forms compared to meeting personal/common archetypes/personalities in dreams. For example, that red wing black bird. You know.
      Whereas, you must also meet meaningful symbols in your dreams that are not accompanied with the knowledge that they are not part of you?

      I can't remember finding such entities that make me believe in "more". I have things in real life that make me believe in "more". I hold on to these events to preserve my "magic thinking"...
      Some entities though, I must admit feel like they are pure power, too big to be parts of me. More often, it is evil but I am not convinced it comes from outside of me.

      Quote Originally Posted by Coatl View Post
      There is an article here on dreamviews about the dream guides. According to the article, the dream guide is supposed to have a constant form, which is usually a woman for a man and a man for a woman.
      The inner woman of a man is the anima and the inner man of a woman is the animus if you are interested. You can check out more on Darkmatter's thread: Jungian Thread
      This is more related to unconscious archetypes than dream guides unless they are the same... Here is a recent example I shared with Darkmatter. We were talking about Shadow self and Anima...

      // I woke up in a vivid false awakening dream. I was still drowsy but convinced I was awake after a series of dreams. The fan was on, which is odd because it is a very cold winter now and I haven’t used it since September. My eyes were sort of closed though, or at least, I was not looking at the fan. There was a sound, like indistinguishable unspoken words. Male, robotic. I thought it must be the fan. But my fan doesn’t make noises like this. The fan intensity increased. I thought, “this cannot be”. I could feel the violent wind from the fan on me. And it seemed the fan was being turned up past its maximum ability and even further. The weirdly vocal sound again. “Someone must be there, at the feet of my bed. It must be an evil supernatural thing to be here in the dark of night…” I felt scared now, because I knew I had to look at it. I tried to look up but I was stuck. I realized I was in sleep paralysis (happens to me often, paired with an entity). The sound. The wind. I was powerless. I submitted. Not genuinely. I tried to sit up again. Fear. Exerted more effort. Finally, I stood up, awoken for real, in my dark bedroom. The fan was off, but the bathroom air circulation was on and making low blowing air noise. Someone had turned up the heat so now I was very hot. I turned the fan on and went back to sleep a little bit shaken by the false awakening.

      I slept through another series of dreams until I was in the kitchen of a lively house. A woman two years older than me started talking to me about an aquarium bowl with a dead red fish in it on the kitchen isle counter. A boy slowly came to look at it. She told me to leave it there. She put it there so as not to hide the reality from her little brother, so he would see what really happened to his fish. She told me this with much intensity, and very close to me. At this time, I felt like we were in some sort of romantic relationship. She was telling her message with utter seriousness, even some anger, yet I was drawn to her. She said something very wise, and I can only paraphrase now "When faced with evil, we come out whole," something like that. Now, we were walking outside. She asked me “Don’t you agree? When should someone be withheld painful truth?” Teasingly, I responded “When the person would never find out anyway.” Some old man leaning on a brick wall thought that was really funny. But the girl was irritated and she turned and sped up, walking up a green hill. Amused, I followed her without accelerating to match her gait.
      //

      Just a fun night where I felt a strong presence in a sleep paralysis dream (recurrent type of dreams for me, in some culture known as "night hag dreams" and actually began more common for me during my trip in South America where I got most of my "magic education"). The woman in this dream is one of the strongest/closest examples I have of meeting "dream guides." This dream came at a very good time, where I needed to face some important fears and was focusing a little bit more on my dreaming.

      Quote Originally Posted by Coatl View Post
      Then I wished "at least my dream guide" to show up. She really did. But I somewhat doubt she is the same sort of guide as the spirit guide. I haven't had any LD since then to be able to try again and compare if she is the same. I am going to ask her if she is also a spirit guide
      Depending on how easy it is for you to achieve this, I would pass on that question. It's just nomenclature and means very little... Like in the excerpt I showed... Seems every character was meaningful. The little boy, my Child self, the woman, my Anima, the sleep paralysis presence, the Shadow...? Or dreamguides... or more? Asking them what category they belong in might just override the message. I don't think "they" "know" what they are... they are just a concept. Don't ask a cat if it's a cat. Just observe it. (Unless they tell you they are entities outside of you, but there is no way to confirm that... you just have to believe or not).
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 06-13-2018 at 04:03 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      But there is a unique trait to your experiences with spiritual forms compared to meeting personal/common archetypes/personalities in dreams. For example, that red wing black bird. You know.
      Whereas, you must also meet meaningful symbols in your dreams that are not accompanied with the knowledge that they are not part of you?
      Yes, I get plenty of symbolic imagery that seems created by my own unconscious mind. I run into thousands of DCs who do not stand out, even if they are central to the story line. However, when 'an entity' is present it is very clear they are different. It is seemingly clear that they have a realness outside of me. It is clear that these things are 'other' than me. How? I can not explain it well as it seems to be another sense outside of the standard waking sense. Picture if you will that everything in my dreams has been in black and white (not literally, it is color) and into this walks a DC that is in full color while every thing else remains black and white. You could then easily pick this DC out of a crowd, and would have no doubt it was different. No, color has nothing to do with it, but maybe the comparison gives you an idea of how clearly this other sense informs me of things with existence outside of my own creation. As you say "you just have to believe or not" and I have no doubt.
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      Quote Originally Posted by sivason View Post
      No, color has nothing to do with it, but maybe the comparison gives you an idea of how clearly this other sense informs me of things with existence outside of my own creation. As you say "you just have to believe or not" and I have no doubt.
      I always appreciate your faith. It makes me want to strengthen mine which has been, importantly, on leave for a while... Now, I will actively welcome in positive entities into my dreams each night. Hopefully, I can advance on that journey.

      About this other sense... I think there is a known sense which informs us of whether something comes from within us or from outside of us. For example, my understanding of psychosis (which I study in animal models, but makes me no expert on this), is that people with psychosis will sense their own thoughts as coming from outside of them. Hence, hearing voices.

      If this sense can be dysfunctional, it would be interesting to think that when functional, this sense allows you to sense these entities in dreams.

      I don't know if anyone here is familiar with the new TV show, Westworld. It's about an android park where people can enjoy a consequence free stay. The androids eventually gain... self-awareness? But the way they do that is by sensing the programming in their mind as being their own. It made me think of this sense that determines what is within us and what is outside in terms of psychosis. And the importance to sense our thoughts as our own. But maybe I have yet to understand the importance of sensing some things as not our own.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Here's another bit of disclosure: In the last few years my work with dreaming has intensified dramatically, and with that intensification has come not more lucidity (as defined on these forums) but less. I didn't notice it at first, and was still being frustrated by failures to, say, complete a WILD transition or remember to pursue a certain goal, but my turn away from lucidity as priority finally became obvious when I noticed that I hadn't made an entry in my dream journal (where only "important" LDs are recorded) in over six months. The turn, I think, has been in the right direction and long overdue; I honestly think I was holding myself back from greater discoveries by maintaining the "knowing I'm dreaming" part as not just the priority, but as my singular goal.

      Here's still more disclosure (please don't tell anyone ): Pretty much the only time I give much attention to lucidity these days is on this forum, when I'm responding to questions in my WILD class or posting the occasional opinion on the subject in threads like these. It's like, now, that I have to flip a special, slightly rusty old switch in my head to post thoughts about LDing -- and, if you read some of my posts carefully, you might notice my growing disinterest in techniques and other processes, like prolonging or stabilization.
      This matches my experience over the last 4 years so well that I feel as though I could've written this myself.

      I find that I'm much more interested in my non-lucid experiences, and I've not actually actively tried to LD at all for quite some time. I still have roughly 40-60 LDs yearly, with many, many more of my dream experiences being varying degrees of "semi"-lucid where I my level of interaction and awareness with the dream can be all over the place, but even get to the level of being plain lucid without actually exerting direct conscious control in any real way or even desiring to at all to begin with. It's more like having a waking experience while dreaming, where even though I know I'm pretty much aware that I'm dreaming and control my actions in the dream, I don't do so in a way that's really at all similar to how I used to when I would become lucid (even becoming lucid is different--I more or less just am, and don't ever experience any "aha" moment and completely interrupt what is already happening). In this way, it is more like my lucids are merely extensions of my non-lucid dreams with increased awareness rather than there being a clear divide where at one moment I wasn't lucid, and the next I was.

      Similarly, I rarely focus on LDing techniques or really even LDing outside of posting every once in a great while in the On-Topic sections of the forum to try and help others or otherwise give some input. As such, my change in habits and outlook has resulted in what I believe to be an immeasurably greater holistic dreaming experience that's in a way, almost a new kind of amalgamation of all the altered states of consciousness I feel capable of experiencing... or I suppose that is to say, the experience feels distinctive and unique enough from the normal dreaming and lucid dreaming experience that it's almost not really accurate to continue referring to them in that same way.

      To me, it seems like both my conscious and unconscious mind are more at harmony with one another while dreaming and during other altered states like hypnagogia. It's like a balance has been achieved whereby how consciously aware I am or become dynamically shifts during the experience and in a way that doesn't interfere with the unconscious thought processes forming the dream or pre-dreaming perceptual phenomena itself, and I find this infinitely more rewarding and interesting. Not to mention it allows for a natural evolution and progression of what you might call my awareness capabilities, for a lack of a better way of putting it. The focus, being shifted toward dreaming itself seems to allow for the bypassing of the regular roadblocks and hang ups that seem to affect most people who focus strictly on becoming lucid, because I have no real expectations of what might go wrong given the goals I have in mind and don't have any "failures" I might wind up dwelling on.
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      Quote Originally Posted by sivason
      I would not assume what ever article speaks the only truth. Some people want to believe nothing magical happens, so they proclaim "DGs are just part of yourself," well that is far from my experience.
      I didn't say that the article claims this. It claims that dream guides have more or less constant appearance, usually a man or a woman. Spirit guides (for the hunters at least) have usually a form of an animal. It's arguable whether it's just because we don't hunt and don't depend on animals, or something else is in play. I have contacted animal characters quite often in my dreams, but never(?) in a lucid state. Like they were from different worlds.
      I don't claim anything categorical here, just wondering.

      As for the DCs that are not persistent through multiple dreams, I suspect they don't mean much. Of course, they do mean something (maybe the anima/animus, like OccipitalRed says), but I suspect you can't count on their truthfulness or usefulness, you can't trust them. They are just "somebodies". That's why real guides are accustomed to a constant form, I suppose.

      Quote Originally Posted by sivason
      Also, I do prey and focus lots of energy on attracting these beings.
      You might well be right. These questions are like eternal: How to distinguish between the dream characters that are "real" and "just projections", "useful" and "useless" or even "harmful"? What kind of sacrifice is needed to befriend them or make them useful, and how do I recognize the change? And what if I can set up the general dream conditions (LD or non-LD) in such a way that there would be no "just a projection" types and anyone who makes appearance there is real and important? I'd suppose something like this to be an Indian mind setup: to be able to enter a real world, like an astral plane, so that they didn't need to worry about "non-real" or "useless" entities in their dreams (because they are absent).

      Quote Originally Posted by OccipitalRed
      The inner woman of a man is the anima and the inner man of a woman is the animus if you are interested. You can check out more on Darkmatter's thread
      This seems to be very different concept from how I perceive dream characters and the whole dream notion. I can't easily grasp it (let alone embrace it) after reading about anima and animus on wikipedia, the eve-helen-mary-sophia stuff and all. What the aforementioned dream-guide article suggests is that the dream guide usually has a sexual flavor, which is not the case for spirit guides - the latter are just to grant power and offer guidance. There might be of course exceptions on both sides which may fill the gap between the two terms, and which may also explain certain difference between an average primitive hunter and average modern LDer...

      As for your Shadow self that causes you sleep paralysis - I don't think this is an example of anima. Otherwise it makes me even more confused about the term. I had a similar terrible vision once, and I am even not sure whether it was a woman or a man. This being is associated with the old indo-european demon Mara (it's named Můra [moorah] in our Czech legends, and Mare in germanic mythology). Mara is an old hag in both men and women visions.
      Last edited by Coatl; 06-15-2018 at 01:47 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Snoop
      it is more like my lucids are merely extensions of my non-lucid dreams with increased awareness rather than there being a clear divide where at one moment I wasn't lucid, and the next I was. ... I suppose that is to say, the experience feels distinctive and unique enough from the normal dreaming and lucid dreaming experience that it's almost not really accurate to continue referring to them in that same way.
      Well, this may again be the explanation why discerning between lucid and non-lucid is unimportant or even irrelevant for certain (level of) dreaming mindset. As for the absence of the "aha" moment though, I suppose this is just a difference between the DILD and WILD, because that's the condition how I always perceive them.
      snoop likes this.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Coatl View Post
      As for the DCs that are not persistent through multiple dreams, I suspect they don't mean much. Of course, they do mean something (maybe the anima/animus, like OccipitalRed says), but I suspect you can't count on their truthfulness or usefulness, you can't trust them. They are just "somebodies". That's why real guides are accustomed to a constant form, I suppose.
      I wouldn't count anyone in your dreams "useless". All the characters together, create patterns of your perception of others, your perception of specific types of people, your perception of yourself and your relationship with all these. Or things you have seen. Or random new combinations. You would be surprised how much you can learn. For example, I never realized I had social anxiety until I asked myself, why all my DCs were persistently against me. I was always running/hiding away from all my DCs. This is an example where I didn't use Jungian philosophy. It finally clicked that I was running/hiding away from all real life people. So I used my Maslow pyramid of needs philosophy and determined I was lacking in my needs of safety and belonging. So then I asked myself, am I safe, in a way? Yes. Do I belong to these groups, in a way? Yes. And whenever around people, I would feel agitated, I would use my mantra: I am safe. I belong. In miracle time, my social anxiety receded to more normal levels and I stopped running away in dreams, instead now, I am often accompanied by allies.

      You don't need a dream guide to teach you something that could change your life. All the useless-seeming DCs contain knowledge, when you look at the big picture.


      Quote Originally Posted by Coatl View Post
      This seems to be very different concept from how I perceive dream characters and the whole dream notion. I can't easily grasp it (let alone embrace it) after reading about anima and animus on wikipedia, the eve-helen-mary-sophia stuff and all.
      Well, this is Jungian philosophy... It's just that. The way one man modeled his worldview. It wouldn't be the final truth. It's interesting to reflect on it though. The anima, in a way, originates from the fact that as a man, you identify as a man. Yet, you are a hermaphrodite (both man and woman). Since you are a man on the outside, than, you become woman in the inside. Eventually, you want your anima to be the bridge between your conscious and your unconscious. This is interesting but I don't know how useful. I generally think of it this way: When you are young, you create a concept of "woman" from observing your mother... your sister, and other woman and girls in your life. If you create a negative relationship with this concept, than you will have a complex. And it will manifest in dreams, with women being unpleasant DCs. Then, you can probably find a way to heal your problems with the opposite sex. Technically. All women in your dreams are the anima. She is a concept, an ideal. You can learn from it, become more feminine. You can understand what you are looking for in a partner. Etc... (Vice versa for women. And for non-heterosexuals, you must simply assume that all archetypes have the same sexuality as you, since it is your own archetypal world)

      Similarly, all children in your dreams are the archetypal child.

      This is one lens by which to interpret dreams. It's my favorite one, now, but there are other ways.

      Quote Originally Posted by Coatl View Post
      What the aforementioned dream-guide article suggests is that the dream guide usually has a sexual flavor, which is not the case for spirit guides - the latter are just to grant power and offer guidance.
      I don't think so. Wouldn't you think anyone would be interested to be granted power (inner strength/vitality) and offered guidance of a sexual flavor? It just makes sense that spirit guides would be just as sexual as yourself... perhaps.

      Quote Originally Posted by Coatl View Post
      As for your Shadow self that causes you sleep paralysis - I don't think this is an example of anima. Otherwise it makes me even more confused about the term. I had a similar terrible vision once, and I am even not sure whether it was a woman or a man. This being is associated with the old indo-european demon Mara (it's named Můra [moorah] in our Czech legends, and Mare in germanic mythology). Mara is an old hag in both men and women visions.
      No, the presence was not my anima, but in the end, I think it is even maybe useless to call it my shadow self. Or anything at all. The important part was that I was scared of this intrusive presence in my bedroom. The funny part is it was turning the fan on. When I woke up, I was almost sweating so much it was hot so I had to turn the fan on myself. In the end, this presence seemed benevolent, telling me I needed the fan on? Just makes you think about fearing these intrusive presences.
      I guess, in your culture, the hag is a woman but where I went, in South America, the women saw a raping man. So some of them left men clothes in their room to keep him away. For me, it's been a few different things, but generally not the common cultural forms.

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